web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The Palestinian Refugees: a Reality Check

The birth of the Palestinian refugee phenomenon, in the form of a massive Arab flight, occurred during the Arab riots of 1936-39.
A view of the crowded Balata refugee camp in Shchem. Balata is the largest refugee camp in the PA, with an estimated 30 000 residents.

A view of the crowded Balata refugee camp in Shchem. Balata is the largest refugee camp in the PA, with an estimated 30 000 residents.
Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/FLASH90

Western policy makers and media have misconstrued/misrepresented the Palestinian refugee issue, ignoring its global context and core data. Moreover, the Palestinian claim of dispossession – which impacts the US financial aid to UNRWA, and is defined as a key issue in the peace process – fails the reality test.

The Global Context At the end of 2012, the UN High Commissioner of Refugees documented 15.4 million refugees worldwide – excluding Palestinian refugees who are administered by UNRWA – and 28.8 million internally displaced persons.  Four million of the refugees are from Afghanistan.  One of the results of the civil war in Sudan was five and a half million refugees. Fifteen million refugees (Hindu, Muslim and Sikh) were created by the 1947 partition of India, which created Pakistan. The Greco-Turkish war of 1919-1922 involved a forced population exchange of two million people.

From 1990 to1991, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait expelled 800,000 Yemenites and almost 300,000 Palestinians for collaborating with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait.  Some 300,000 Palestinians – who were allies of Saddam Hussein – fled Iraq following the first and second Gulf Wars. Since 1945, there have been some 100 million refugees worldwide, most of them resettled. On the other hand, Palestinian refugee camps in Arab territories have remained intact since 1950, while Palestinian leadership conducts a lavish life-style, including bank accounts stashed throughout the world. 

Core Data *According to an August, 1971 Ford Foundation report, by 1950, the majority of the Palestinian refugees began evacuating the camps and non-refugees moved in to benefit from UNRWA’s services. For example, half of the population in the Jelazoon refugee camp, near Ramallah, settled there after 1950.

*A November 17, 2003 report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) documented that less than 33% of registered Palestinian refugees live in refugee camps.

*The actual number of Palestinian refugees is determined by the following: Before the 1948/9 War, 800,000 Arabs (per inflated numbers) resided within the boundaries of “pre-1967 Israel”. At the end of that war, 170,000 Arabs stayed in Israel.  Of the remaining 630,000 Arabs, 100,000 were absorbed by Israel’s family reunification gesture; 100,000 middle and upper class Arabs left before the beginning of the 1948-49 war and were absorbed by neighboring Arab states; 50,000 migrant laborers returned to their Arab countries of origin; 50,000 Bedouins joined their brethren-tribes in Jordan and Sinai; and 10,000 were war fatalities. Thus, the actual total number of Palestinian refugees was 320,000.

*Most of the refugees followed their political, economic and social leadership, which left before the eruption of the war.  Many were enticed to depart by Arab leaders, who promised a quick devastation of the Jewish state that would provide the evacuees with Jewish property. British authorities influenced others, pressuring the minority in mixed Jewish-Arab towns to evacuate: Arabs evacuated but Jews did not.

The Claim of Dispossession Examined According to Dr. Yuval Arnon-Ohanna of Ariel University and former head of the Mossad’s Palestinian research division (Line of Furrow and Fire: the conflict for the Land of Israel, 1860-2010, 2013, pp 397-415): “The birth of the Palestinian refugee phenomenon – in the form of a massive Arab flight – occurred during the Arab riots of 1936-39, not during the 1947-49 war…. The flight was confirmed by the British Consul General to Beirut, G.W. Furlonge, in an October 27, 1938 report to the British High Commissioner in Jerusalem…. and by the Lebanese daily, Al Akhbar, in a December 1938 article…. A documentation of 40,000 Arab refugees, during 1936-39, was included in Dr. Rony Gabbay’s 1959 Ph.D. thesis, which was submitted to Geneva University….

About the Author: Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel’s Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the U.S., Canada and Israel on Israel’s unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of U.S.-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

6 Responses to “The Palestinian Refugees: a Reality Check”

  1. Anonymous says:

    NEVER have the Arabs had legal rights to the land in question. Any respecting Jew and Jewess understands that it is far worse to suffer loss of our national pride, through humiliation by the enemy, because for that sin, of self abasement, or self hatred, we shall surely suffer a thousand deaths. Better to die fighting evil than to live under it. dvorah bee :)

  2. Brian Shapiro says:

    Very interesting. Thank you for the information.

  3. =
    Quote “100,000 were absorbed by Israel’s family reunification gesture”
    Israel comply(s) w/ the political exigencies of the international jihadis,
    beside the said number, Israel has also imported Jihad into Israel territory
    by importing muslims hordes of the PLO in the aftermath of the Oslo Betrayal.

  4. La verità storica è molto importante contro la truffa di notizie false.

  5. Yechiel Baum says:

    to be a palestinean refugee, you have to first prove residence in Gaza and Delailah did not keep records after the entrapment of Samson. The people oyu are referring to are those who illegally came for jobs knowing Jewish treatment of pagans historically have been fair and profitable to them unlike their stealing from Jews in arab lands.

    As to their living in refugee camps – they do not want to invest in real estate to purchase it since they simply steal it from Israel or anyone else they slither into so the arabs keep them in their beduin state which is what they are accustomed too for centuries. It is not a Jewish problem!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Abu Usamah Somali, thought to be Farah Mohammed Shirdon of Calgary, Alberta in Canada.
Canadian ISIS Fighter Threatens to Behead Netanyahu [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
terrorists

Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?

obama

Like our fabled character, Don Quixote, President Obama has constantly spawned his own reality.

Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, in better times (left) and in his prison cell (right).

Boroujerdi was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed.”

Senior Hamas and Fatah leaders in Gaza City on April 22. Hamas and Fatah signed a deal to establish a unity government, but since then little progress has been made.

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.

Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.

Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status

David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?

sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience

Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.

Rosh Hashanah has an obvious connection to God’s Kingship. We constantly refer to Him during the Asseres Yemei Teshuvah as Melech/King. The nusach of the tefillah, referring to Rosh Hashanah as “a remembrance of the first day” (of Creation), implies a certain dimension of divine kingship operating at the time of Creation and replicated every […]

Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.

Anti-Semitism has returned to the mainstream of European society and Israel has become its focus.

More Articles from Yoram Ettinger
Jewish Holidays' Guide for the Perplexed

Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal and hopeful holiday,

0.5-Shekel-hatasham-RJP

The War projects to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP 0.5% but will have little influence on foreign investors

Pres. Obama claims there’s no Islam-driven terrorism or radicalism, only “local” cases of terrorism.

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

Regional pro-US Arab countries rely on Israel as a deterrence to rogue Islamic regimes.

The 49 days between Passover and Shavou’ot are dedicated to enhancing one’s behavior, following in the footsteps of the Jews, who forged/enhanced their own national character during the 40 years in the desert.

The elimination of Jews was the top priority of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.

Abbas – an ally of Saddam Hussein, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela – provides Hamas with a vital tailwind.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-palestinian-refugees-a-reality-check/2013/12/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: